Members of our Board of Trustees include arts, business, and social leaders from Maine, New York, and locations further afield. These dedicated volunteers ensure that the Festival operates to best serve all of its participants and audiences.
Board of Trustees
Elliot Rosen, Chair
Takoma Park, Maryland
Elliot Rosen’s family relationship with the Festival goes back to the mid-1970’s when his parents discovered that there was classical music available 15 minutes from their cabin in West Bath. The Festival became an important part of his parents’ summer life in Maine for the next 35 years. Elliot joined the Board in 2011 and was elected Chairman in the 2016 Festival Season. Elliot splits his time between Washington, DC/Maryland, where he has lived and worked most of his adult life, and Maine where he tries to come as often as possible. Elliot is a serial arts organization board member. Before joining the Festival Board he was a long time member and Board Chair of the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, a contemporary dance company. Elliot is a beginner-beginner cellist although certain Kaplan Fellows have kindly told him that he is a “no excuses accepted” cellist.
Lorna BROWN FLYNN, Vice Chair
After returning from a three-year expat stint in Moscow, Russia, Lorna and her husband moved to Harpswell, Maine. Prior to Russia, Lorna ran the New York office of a Los Angeles literary agency and later was the Director of Education for a sexual assault crisis center in Connecticut.
No matter where she lived, Lorna has taken advantage of the available musical offerings, from the accessible NY Philharmonic and Julliard String Quartet, to the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, to the local high school orchestra. At the same time, Lorna volunteered at nonprofits in the communities she lived, even in Moscow where she helped the local domestic violence agency. When she settled in Maine, Lorna subscribed to the Festival and soon after volunteered in the admissions office. For the past sixteen years, Lorna has evaluated financial aid applications and helped with student housing.
When the time was right, Lorna accepted nomination to the Festival Board of Trustees. You can find Lorna and her husband at every Festival concert during the summer, as well as at most of the masterclasses and lectures. Lorna loves seeing the Festival branch out in new directions and knows she’s not the only one because of the exponential growth of student applications over the past few years.
Robert C. Briselli, Treasurer
West Bath, Maine
Classical music has been ever present in Bob’s life. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Bob lived steps from the Curtis Institute of Music where his father, Iso, graduated and then embarked on a solo violin career.
Bob studied violin and piano for many years, but ultimately decided to pursue science and technology, earning Chemistry and Engineering degrees from MIT. Upon graduation, Bob began a career entirely with the DuPont Company, developing new environmentally-friendly paints for autos. Later in a business-improvement capacity, he advised or led teams in marketing, strategy, and customer quality assurance as a Senior Consultant.
In retirement, Bob volunteers with community non-profits tackling food insecurity and homelessness, as well as nature preservation and child development. When not volunteering, Bob enjoys traveling, hiking, and playing bridge. He and his wife, Carol, a professional violist, have enjoyed summers in West Bath since 2013.
Kent Mitchell, Secretary
Kent Mitchell and his wife Natalie began spending summers in Maine in 2004 after retiring from ownership of a lamp manufacturing business in Vermont. As they were getting familiar with the area, they went to a few Festival concerts and soon became enthusiastic attendees of faculty and student concerts as well as masterclasses. What is most exciting to Kent is the “learning” that one sees occurring on the stage during a masterclass. Kent is a graduate of DePauw University and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He was a member of the Vermont Business Roundtable for 15 years, serving on its board for six years. In Vermont, Kent enjoys singing in a church choir and a community chorus and delivering for Meals on Wheels. He loves harvesting firewood and sawlogs on his home property, and spending time with his family, especially his two grandchildren.
A subscriber to The New Yorker from age 13, this California native knew that NYC was where she wanted to be and, after graduation from the University of Southern California and graduate work at Stanford, that was where she went. Working an entire career in publishing, beginning with…The New Yorker…yes! Then came travel magazines and being in at the creation of Bon Appetit as Managing Editor, remaking Cuisine magazine as Editor in Chief, editing books on food, wine and entertaining at HarperCollins, and lots of freelance writing for newspapers and magazines. When she landed in Maine in retirement, the Bowdoin International Music Festival and its talented students have been the major, and deeply rewarding, focus of volunteer life.
Growing up in Iowa, Susan was exposed to music from a young age, attending local symphonyconcerts with my parents, studying piano and playing viola through school years, and continuing intermittently as an adult. After graduating veterinary college at Iowa State University, she and her husband, Mike Steitzer, moved to Maine where they raised their family, and pursued their professional careers, Susan’s in veterinary medicine. Susan founded the Androscoggin Animal Hospital in Topsham, enjoying wonderful relationships with clients and their animals over the years, and selling the practice in the fall of 2015. In addition to clinical practice, Susan has been very involved in the organizational and regulatory sides of the veterinary profession serving at state, regional, and national levels on multiple councils and committees, as well as local civic organizations. Beginning in 2005, Susan’s professional veterinary interests expanded internationally. Susan has spent more than 14 years working primarily in Afghanistan as a clinician, consultant, and spent 2 1/2 years as the Team Leader for a project funded by the European Union working directly with the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture’s Directorate ofAnimal Health. She continues to work in Afghanistan on a part time basis, and is also pursuing aMaster’s Degree in Veterinary Preventive Medicine. A unique part of her Afghanistan experiences has been limited, but meaningful, involvement and support for the Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM).
Music, and specifically classical music, has enriched Susan’s life since her Iowa childhood, and been a constant companion, although usually as a member of the audience, or listening to streaming services, radio, cd’s and even old records. Yet nothing replaces the vibrant experience of live performance. Attending Festival concerts has been part of Susan’s summers in Maine since the 80’s, including selling lemonade at intermission of the concerts when they were held at First Parish Church. The growth of the Festival, the focus on world class musicianship, and the commitment to educating student musicians continues to inspire. The great success of the Festival is a tribute to outstanding artistic vision that has been undergirded by the equally important organizational structure and fiscal guidance by the Board of Trustees.
Doug Collins’ career as an actuary started in the Hartford, CT area, where he grew up, and took him to assignments in London and Bermuda. He and his wife Jane moved from Bermuda to Harpswell when he retired in 2010. Since retirement, Doug has kept busy chairing actuarial committees on climate change, and volunteering for SCORE.
Doug’s only organized music experience was playing in his high school band, but braces made becoming a decent trumpeter a challenge. More recently, he has taken many music history courses on CD and tried his hand at composition while auditing Music Theory 101 at Bowdoin. Throughout life, listening to all types of music has brought much joy.
Doug has been an active supporter of the Festival and believes Midcoast Maine is incredibly fortunate to host one of the best summer music programs in the world.
Before he retired in 2012, Rol was senior vice-president of Supply Chain at L.L. Bean, Inc. where he worked since 1982. Prior to living in Maine, he lived in Africa for several years. Rol has served on local, state, national, and industry boards. In 1989 he took an extended sabbatical from L.L. Bean to work on state and national initiatives to improve math and science education in public schools. During that time he implemented a $10 million National Science Foundation grant for the state of Maine. He served on the National Alliance for Math and Science Education and on the executive committee of the Maine Math and Science Alliance. Rol is a former member of the Town of Brunswick planning board, is on the board of Mid Coast Health Services, and is a past president of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, on whose board he has served in many capacities since 1998. He is currently chairman of the board of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
Dr. BERNARD GIVERTZ
Dr. Bernard Givertz is a retired cardiologist, the founder of Maine Cardiology Associates and of Cardiovascular Consultants of Maine. He was Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont Medical School and President of the Maine Heart Association. Bernard was a member of the Boards of Temple Beth El and the Southern Maine Jewish Community Alliance; he serves on the Boards of the Portland Conservatory of Music, and Cedars Nursing and Senior Citizens complex, including The Atrium and The Osher Inn. He is a devoted supporter of classical music, and plays the clarinet.
Peter Griffin retired to the Cundys Harbor area of Harpswell in 2006 after a thirty-year career at a privately-owned global commodity merchant and trading company. He served his final eight years as President of its North American operations. Earlier, Peter served three years as Instructor in Economics at Washington’s Whitman College and five years as an employee of a large accounting firm in New York. Peter is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He also serves on the boards of the Holbrook Community Foundation in Cundys Harbor and the Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ in Portland. He is an amateur pipe organist.
Ian is a consultant specializing in marketing and strategy. He is an alumnus of Vassar College (BA, Music, honors) and Syracuse University (MM, Music Composition and Theory, honors), as well as the Bowdoin International Music Festival (’09). After working in fundraising for Jazz at Lincoln Center, he transitioned to a career in marketing, working at Tribal Worldwide, McCann Erickson, and others. He is currently a consultant to a variety of businesses in the development, financial services, lifestyle, and healthcare spaces.
In addition to marketing work, Ian continues to play and record music with various bands and by himself. Other interests include cooking, tennis, golf and photography.
Sam Hayward has been the founding chef and a co-owner of Fore Street restaurant in Portland, Maine, since its opening in 1996. He’s also a co-owner of Scales on Maine Wharf, just opened on Portland’s waterfront. Sam studied double-bass and choral music performance in college, but found his vocation cooking and presenting the foods of Maine at 22 Lincoln Restaurant in Brunswick and the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport before collaborating in the creation of Fore Street and Scales. Sam is the first Maine recipient of the James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef – Northeast in 2004. Sam has served on the Board of Trustees of the Bowdoin International Music Festival since 1991.
Orr’s Island, Maine
Charlie Johnson is a native Californian and a graduate of Harvey Mudd College and Stanford Business School, currently semi-retired with over 30 years’ experience in senior financial and IT positions in public and private companies. Charlie is Past President of the Orr’s and Bailey Islands Volunteer Fire Department and the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. Charlie is currently on the board of Forum Foundation (education in rural Panama) and Healthy Learners (schoolbased health care in Zambia).
Although not a musician, music has always been a part of Charlie’s life. He studied piano as a child and played clarinet in middle school orchestra. Charlie was introduced to choral music by his late wife, Carolyn, and the wonders of the double bass when he courted his Jean over a decade ago. Charlie has been attending BMIF concerts since moving to Orr’s Island in 2000. In addition to supporting the Festival financially, Charlie and Jean have been hosting Kurt Muroki and his bass students in their home every summer for the past 10 years.
Susan and Spencer Lavan moved their young family to Maine in the summer of 1976 and Spencer almost immediately discovered the Festival. From that moment on the Festival became an important part of Susan and Spencer’s lives. The importance of the Festival became obvious when Susan became a board member, a position she maintained until the family moved to Chicago in 1988. Spencer and Susan continued to attend concerts during their summers in Maine but Susan’s involvement with the Festival took on new dimension when she and her husband permanently relocated to Maine in 1996. Since then Susan has been an active volunteer and has contributed her time and energy in many ways that have benefited the Festival.
Susan’s volunteering has not been limited to the Bowdoin International Music Festival, she has also given time to civil rights causes and she has worked with elementary aged children. When she is not volunteering or spending time with her family and friends, she enjoys cooking, knitting, and gardening. Susan was named an emeritus trustee in 2014 and at the request of the board rejoined the board as a regular member in 2016.
JAMES T. MORGAN
James T. Morgan was a long-time colleague of the late Sarah Caldwell, one of the most innovative opera directors of her time and the first woman to conduct at the Metropolitan Opera. In addition to various administrative positions at the Opera Company of Boston, he worked with Ms. Caldwell on projects and festivals in the Philippines, Russia, China, and Wolf Trap near Washington, DC.
Jim moved to Maine in 1999 and became Director of Development and Marketing for PCA Great Performances, now known as Portland Ovations. He now sits on its board as vice president as well as the board of the Bowdoin International Music Festival, having served as chair from 2010 to 2014.
Daniel Nitsch became Executive Director of the Festival in 2016 after joining the organization as Director of Admissions and Operations in 2015. Together with the staff and faculty, Nitsch created and executed a recruitment plan that brought more applications than ever before in the 53-year history of the Festival. Prior to this appointment, Nitsch served as operations manager for Yellow Barn Music Festival. Nitsch has worked for various arts organizations including the Cleveland Orchestra, Music@Menlo, American Bach Soloists, and the Oberlin Artist Recital Series. In addition to posts in arts management, Nitsch has held the position of assistant conductor of the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra and performed as both a soloist and in ensembles. Nitsch is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Barbara and her husband are returning to Brunswick after living in Claremont CA for over a decade. While living in Claremont, a city located in Los Angeles County, Barbara supported the Los Angeles Philharmonic Symphony as a Board member, Vice President for Fundraising and President of the symphony’s Affiliate Foothill Philharmonic Committee. Barbara interacted with LA Phil musicians, the Financial Friends Campaign and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles). Each fall Barbara dedicated three weeks to spreading music education, enhancing the LA Phil’s reputation and introducing orchestral instruments to over 1,000 local third graders with the goal of inspiring them to play an instrument when they entered the fourth grade.
Prior to living in California, Barbara lived in Brunswick, Maine for over 30 years, where Barbara was a volunteer in local service and arts organizations. She co-founded Home to Home with the Sixth District Court and The American Association of University Women (AAUW) supporting the courts to provide a safe place for separated and divorced parents to exchange their children for visitation. Barbara is a long time member of AAUW serving as President and numerous other offices.
Barbara grew up attending Musical Theatre and fondly remembers her first Broadway experiences: Camelot starring Julie Andrews and The Sound of Music starring Mary Martin! In the 90’s Barbara was a Maine State Music Theatre Trustee and served as President, creating the Show Sponsor program.
In addition, Barbara produced Senior Lifestyle, a Senior Spectrum cable television program viewed in six Maine counties. She was an active member of the Curtis Memorial Library Board of Directors serving on the Development Committee during the Library renovation in the 1990’s. As a volunteer for the Music Festival, Barbara worked to develop sponsors and an endowment plan to ensure the future of the Festival.
Barbara believes in the value of volunteering for the betterment of the community and enriching the lives of its residents. The BIMF provides gifted young musicians the opportunity to study and perform with world class artists, and audiences enjoy classical music performed to the highest artistic standards. Barbara is honored to volunteer for this renowned institution, the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Dr. Hugh Phelps
Hugh Phelps was a radiation oncologist for 30 years at Maine Med and CMMC in Lewiston until retiring in 2003. He served on the Freeport School Committee and Town Council in the 1980’s. He has been on the Bowdoin International Music Festival board since the early 1990’s, including a stint as board chair. Hugh sings regularly with the Bowdoin College chorus and Rachmaninoff chorus and has sung in the past with the Choral Arts Society and Oratorio Chorale. He currently also serves on board of the Pine Tree Society.
Norman Rapkin moved to Portland a few years ago, and has since become involved with music and healthcare organizations, including serving on the boards of the Portland Symphony Orchestra and the Portland Chamber Music Festival. Prior to moving to Maine, Norman had a long career in Montreal, Canada, in law and banking, specializing in taxation. He served as a consultant with Heenan Blaikie from 1994-1998, prior to which he was a vice president of The Royal Bank of Canada (1980-1990); partner in P.S. Ross & Partners, Montreal, QC (1967-1980) and principal of Touche Ross & Co., Montreal, QC. (1967-1980).
Deborah (Debbie) Schall is a long-time fan and supporter of the Bowdoin International Music Festival. In 2019, Debbie had the enormous privilege of sponsoring a student for the first time. Debbie also served as a Festival volunteer, co-chairing the annual scholarship gala for many years.
Debbie’s previous board service includes president, treasurer, editor, and webmaster for the American Association of University Women. She served as board president for the Curtis Memorial Library and Independence Association, as well as editor and marketing chair for Midcoast Hospital’s Merrymeeting Merry Eating Cookbook. Debbie also has volunteered with Home to Home, a place for separated or divorced parents to exchange children in a safe environment.
In addition to board service, Debbie has received appointments to Maine State Committees including the Development and Disabilities Council at the Bureau of Mental Retardation of the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Community Advisory Board for the Pineland Consent Decree.
New York, New York
After graduating from Mount Holyoke College, Claudia Spies worked in academic administration, first at the University of Maine in Farmington, then at Harvard University, after receiving an Ed.M at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Moving to NYC, she worked in account management at the advertising agencies Benton and Bowles and Ogilvy and Mather. Having lived in Europe for 25 years, first in Berlin, Germany and then London, England, Claudia and her husband, Michael now reside in New York City.
Claudia grew up in Brunswick, and now enjoys spending the summers with her husband and two sons in Harpswell.
West Bath, Maine
Susanne Stover is an experienced Chief Financial Officer and business consultant with over 25 years of experience, including 10 years as a CFO. Stover recently accepted the position of CFO for IT By Design, a managed service provider based in the NYC area. ITBD started in 2003 and has experienced tremendous growth with over 500 employees currently.
Immediately prior to ITBD, Stover took a step back from her career to relocate to Maine from NYC and handle family issues. During this time, she worked with the Bowdoin International Music Festival and handled consulting work with a few companies, including Johnny Rockets Restaurants. Her last full time professional position was as the CFO and SVP of the New York Racing Association, a $2B handle horse racing and entertainment company.
A Certified Public Accountant, Stover began her career as an auditor at KPMG in Boston and later joined The Walt Disney Company, based in California. Subsequently, she held positions as Vice President of Finance with Time Warner, Vice president of Finance with the Decurion Corporation, Controller at California Pizza Kitchen, and CFO of Rosa Mexicano Restaurants. Stover was a Board member for the Belmont Child Care Association, a nonprofit in NY where she was the Chair of the Finance and Development committees.
Stover is married to Eric Freeman and lives with him and their cat, Maxie Marie on the New Meadows Lake in West Bath, Maine. She has strong family ties to Maine going back to the 1700’s and has enjoyed living here since 2017 after living in the NYC, Los Angeles, and Boston areas. Stover also owns an island in the New Meadows River, which has been a family vacation spot her whole life. Stover loves art, music, reading, crafts, kayaking, and hiking.
dominique van de stadt
Paradise Valley, Arizona
Dominique van de Stadt worked in journalism (World Press Review, The Wall Street Transcript, Harper’s Magazine); publishing (Williams and Wilkins, Waverly Press); public relations (Johns Hopkins Health Systems) and translation services (Oxfam, Berlitz, Translingua) for 15 years after finishing her studies. Subsequently she became a dedicated community volunteer while raising four children, Milena, Adrian, Stefan and Flavia, with her husband, Octavio Pajaro.
She has enjoyed the privilege of serving on the boards and special committees of schools and non-profit music organizations in Florida (Jacksonville Country Day School, Episcopal High School, Jacksonville Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra, Ritz Chamber Players); Alabama (Alabama Symphony, Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra, Scrollworks, Harvard Interviewing Committee, The Altamont School) and Arizona (Red Rocks Music Festival, Phoenix Youth Symphony, Harvard Interviewing Committee, MusicaNova Orchestra, Phoenix Ivy Council). She has also served on the parent committees of the Sphinx Organization in Detroit and The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She is one of many parents happy to have served as a “team advisor” for Amy Nathan’s book, The Music Parents’ Survival Guide. A dual Dutch and U.S. citizen, Dominique grew up in Brazil, Angola, Argentina, Turkey and various European countries before coming to the US. She received a BA in History and Literature from Harvard and an MS in Journalism from Columbia.
Bowdoin International Music Festival has been Dominique’s favorite music festival for many years, as three of the Pajaro-van de Stadt children have attended, loved, and benefitted from the Festival for the past 10 years: Milena, violin and viola—currently violist with the Dover Quartet; Stefan, guitar—currently pursuing a singer-songwriter degree at the LA College of Music; Flavia, violin—currently a student at the Peabody Conservatory.
Susan Weems is founder (2010) and president of Brunswick Public Art. She has led this organization to complete 15 public art projects of various materials and sizes, created by diverse artists, and located within the downtown area, Brunswick Landing and at a local primary school. Brunswick Public Art (BPA)is now working on its largest project to date, a mural at Cabot Mill. One goal of BPA is to include many different groups, from the Brunswick Community, in various public art projects.
Prior to her efforts with BPA, she directed two Regional Arts Programs for high school and middle school students. From 1998 – 2002, she directed the Regional Arts program for the Capital Area which included Gardiner, Augusta, Winthrop, Readfield and Hallowell high school students. In 2000, she organized a similar program for the Mid-Coast area which included Freeport, Bath, Topsham and Brunswick high school students and then evolved to include middle school students. This program ended in 2012, primarily due to budget constraints on public schools. A major goal of these programs was to create art centered community-based learning opportunities for students.
In 1980 she started her own Interior Plantscaping business (interior plants in office settings), which currently is in its 40th year of operation. The main goal of this business has been to connect office employees with the “gifts” that plants offer the environment, inside and out.
In 1963 she graduated from Wheelock College with a BS in education and in 1996 with a Masters in Education from University of Southern Maine with a focus on Community-based Learning at the secondary level. She is a former Town Councilor of Hallowell, Maine, where she and her family lived prior to moving to Brunswick. Susan has lived in Brunswick since 1987, with her husband. She has two adult sons.
She is an avid gardener, reader, student of Tai Chi, and classical music lover. She has also hosted female international scholarship students from Bowdoin College and Bowdoin International Music Festival pianists for almost twenty years.
Jan Williams comes from a musical family. His grandfather Jan A. Williams played clarinet in Sousa’s Band as a young teenager, went on to Principle clarinet chairs at The Metropolitan Opera, The New York Philharmonic under Walter Damrosch, and the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini. Jan A.’s brother, Ernest, was a trumpeter with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Jan’s father was a Juilliard graduate, played in the Radio City Music Hall orchestra, and taught music for all of the years Jan remembers. Jan recently retired from a career in Business Consulting. His field was business process improvement, both in finance and operations.
His specialty is in identifying best practices and capabilities in one industry or context and transferring those practices to new organizations and situations. Jan has built and managed consulting organizations for several firms, including Price Waterhouse in Madrid, Grant Thornton in Boston, and Gunn Partners in Melbourne, Australia.
Jan is Chairman of the Town of Hiram Planning Board. He also is Treasurer and Executive Board Member of the Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission, and serves on the loan committee of the Saco & Biddeford Economic Development Corporation.
Among numerous hobbies, Jan enjoys distance running, and working on his extensive toy train layout.
Rochester, New York
David Ying concertizes widely, both in traditional performances from Carnegie Hall to the Sydney Opera House, and in unusual presentations beyond the concert hall. Cellist of the Grammy Award-winning Ying Quartet, the Quartet’s wide-ranging career and interests have led them to the White House as well as to juvenile prisons, and from farm towns to urban community centers. Their performing collaborators range from eminent musicians such as pianist Menahem Pressler, to folk musician Mike Seeger, to dancers, actors, magicians, computers and even Chinese chefs. Mr. Ying can also be heard on the Ying Quartet’s enthusiastically received recordings.
As solo cellist, he has been prizewinner in the Naumburg International Violincello Competition and the Washington International Competition. Mr. Ying has also been active as a recitalist with his wife, pianist Elinor Freer, and together they directed the Skaneateles Festival.
David Ying is the Artistic Director of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Rochester, New York
Phillip Ying performs regularly across the United States, Europe, and Asia. He recently won a Grammy Award for his work with the Ying and Turtle Island String Quartets, and is a recipient of the Naumburg Award for chamber music. Mr. Ying has also been presented numerous times in recital and as a soloist with orchestras. With the Ying Quartet, he maintains a vital interest in new music. He has been recorded by Telarc, Quartz, EMI, Albany, and Elektra.
In addition to performing, Mr. Ying is committed to presenting the arts in creative, unexpected, and diverse ways. In 1992, he received a two-year grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to promote chamber music in rural Iowa. Since that time, he continues to be involved in many other projects designed to explore expanded performance concepts as well as the educational and community-building potential of classical music in cities and towns across the United States
Phillip Ying is the Artistic Director of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.
New York, New York
George ISAACSON, Esq.